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Policies Governing Use of Queens College Information Technology

Revised 8/11/2005

This policy applies to all information technology resources operated at, owned by, leased by, or subscribed to by the College, regardless of the source of acquisition funding.

    Queens College maintains computers, computer software, a computer network, and other information technology resources for the academic and administrative use of its faculty, staff, and registered students ("users") in order to facilitate access to local, national, and international information resources and to encourage the sharing of knowledge, the creative process, and collaborative efforts within the College’s educational, research, and public service missions.

    Access to the information technology at Queens College is a privilege, not a right, and must be so treated by all users. All users must respect the rights of other computer users, respect the integrity of the physical facilities and controls, respect all license and contractual agreements related to College information systems, and respect the intellectual property rights of authors and publishers. All users must act honestly and in accordance with these responsibilities and with applicable College, CUNY, local, state, and federal laws and regulations. Failure to comply with this policy may result in denial of access to College information technology resources, in criminal prosecution, and/or in appropriate disciplinary action.

    Use of a College computer, network connection, or other information technology resource shall constitute the user’s agreement to abide by and to be bound by the provisions of this Policy.


    Current students, faculty, and staff of Queens College and of other CUNY institutions may use public workstations in the library for information retrieval. Only current Queens College faculty, staff, and registered students may use other College information technology resources. Users of open computer facilities must show current ID cards upon request of supervisory personnel.

    Unauthorized access to College information resources is prohibited. Misuse or unauthorized use of College computing resources may constitute theft of services, and may be punishable under criminal statutes. Violators may also be liable for the value of the stolen resources.

    No one shall use the ID or password of another person. No one shall provide his or her ID or password to another. Users are urged to change passwords periodically in order to protect themselves. If your account is used improperly by someone else, you may lose your account.

    When a user’s relationship with the College terminates, his or her ID and password shall be denied access to University computing resources, effective immediately. The College will maintain email forwarding for departing faculty and staff, if the user requests this service and supplies an active email address; however, the College accepts no responsibility for electronic information or files belonging to former users—arrangements for copying personal data should be made prior to termination.


    Queens College provides access to a wide array of local, state, national, and international information resources. The College cannot and does not regulate the content of that information, nor does it take responsibility for that content, except for information created by or on behalf of the College itself. Any person who accesses information using the College information technology system must determine whether any source is appropriate for viewing for themselves and for their audience.


    Misuse of College information systems is prohibited. A non-exclusive list of examples of misuse includes the following:

    1. Attempting to modify or remove computer equipment, components, software, or peripherals without proper authorization.
    2. Without proper authorization: accessing computers, software, information, networks or other information technology resources belonging to the College or to which the College may subscribe, regardless of whether that access occurs from a College-owned site or from a remote site.
    3. Taking actions, without written authorization from the Assistant Vice President for Information Technology, which may interfere with other users’ legitimate access to information technology resources. The writing of code or execution of instructions that threaten system integrity or security, cause harm to system or user files, or cause excessive or wasteful use of limited resources such as memory, processor time, bandwidth, or printer paper is strictly prohibited.
    4. Circumventing logon procedures or other security measures established by the College or by other authorities.
    5. Using College information technology resources for purposes other than those for which they were intended or authorized. Using these resources for commercial financial gain or for any illegal purpose is prohibited.
    6. Sending any anonymous or fraudulent electronic transmission. Pranks and practical jokes are inappropriate.
    7. Sending chain letters, whether motivated by profit or otherwise.
    8. Violating any license or copyright, including copying or distributing copyrighted material without the written authorization of the copyright owner. Users are advised that it is Queens College policy that software that is copyrighted may not be copied, reproduced, transmitted, transcribed, stored in a retrieval system, or translated into any human or computer language, in any form or by any means, in any part without prior written permission of the copyright holder. Backup copies with a copyright notation may be kept for that purpose only.
    9. Violating the property rights of copyright owners. Be especially aware of potential copyright infringement through the use of email and/or the World Wide Web (WWW). Copyright laws’ coverage of electronic materials are evolving rapidly at the present time—users should take all precautions to be sure that they have met the obligations of current copyright laws and interpretations before posting any material that belongs to another person or corporate entity.
    10. Using information technology resources to harass or threaten other users so as to create an atmosphere which unreasonably interferes with the other users’ enjoyment of the educational or employment environment. College information technology resources shall not be used to harass or threaten any user, whether affiliated with the College or not.
    11. Accessing, interfering with, or distributing another users’ electronic information or files without permission.
    12. Developing, modifying, or distributing any virus or virus-like software that will interfere with the normal operation of any information technology resource located at the College or elsewhere.
    13. Smoking, eating, and/or drinking when using College computers.
    14. Acting without due consideration of others using open laboratory facilities, e.g., noisy behavior or display of offensive screen content.


    All College information technology resources exist to be used primarily for College-related business. Personal use is permitted so long as it conforms with this Policy, does NOT interfere with College operations or with an employee user’s performance of his or her duties as a College employee, and does NOT incur financial charges.

    Any use of College resources for business or commercial purposes is prohibited.

    Personal use may be denied when such use requires an inordinate amount of computer resources (e.g., storage capacity or network bandwidth).


    Except as mentioned below, a user can expect files and data that he or she generates to be private information, unless he or she takes action to reveal it to others. Should a legitimate College need exist, however, a duly authorized College official may monitor a user’s keystrokes or may access a user’s files or data. A non-exclusive list of examples of legitimate reasons for such action includes the following:

    1. Repair or maintenance of computing equipment as the College may deem necessary, including the testing of systems in order to ensure that appropriate levels of function, bandwidth, performance, and storage are being provided;
    2. Investigation of improper or illegal use of College resources, where there is reasonable cause to believe that there may have been misuse of the College’s information technology resources;
    3. Response to an appropriate public records request, to an administrative or judicial order, or to a request for discovery in the course of litigation.

    Although the College has no interest in invading any user’s privacy, users should be aware that no computer system is entirely secure. Unauthorized individuals, working inside or outside of the College’s system, may find ways to access files despite the College’s best efforts to enforce security. Therefore, all users should be aware that the College cannot and does not provide any guarantee of user privacy.

    Electronic information can be persistent. Users should recall that courts occasionally have deemed it appropriate to use extraordinary efforts to recover erased files—in some cases, investigators have recovered documents and email that owners thought had been deleted years before. Please bear this in mind when creating any electronic information.

    In general, data whose privacy must be guaranteed should not be stored on shared computers. Quality encryption tools are widely available and should be used whenever you work with sensitive information. The Office of Information Technology will advise you on suitable products upon request.


    All policies enumerated in this document apply to electronic mail ("email").

    Email should reflect careful, professional, and courteous writing, especially because it can easily be forwarded to others. Never assume that no one other than the addressee will read your email.

    Be careful about attachments and broad publication of messages. Copyright laws and license agreements do apply to email.

  8. WWW ("web") Pages

    The College has established format standards for those web pages considered to be "official" pages. All departmental, administrative, institutional, and other organizational web pages must adhere to these standards, which define requirements for use of the official logo and other official impedimenta. You may obtain assistance by sending email to the College webmaster at Note that no web pages other than official Queens College web pages may include the College logo without the express permission of the College.

    Originators of all web pages that use College computing resources shall comply with College policies and are responsible for complying with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including copyright laws, obscenity laws, laws relating to libel, slander, and defamation, and laws relating to piracy of software and other information.

    Persons creating a web page are responsible for the accuracy of the information contained in the web page. Content should be reviewed frequently to assure continued currency and accuracy. Web pages should include the phone number or email address of an individual to whom questions/comments may be addressed, as well as the most recent revision date.


    Queens College wishes to acknowledge the University of Nebraska, University of Oregon, and University of Manitoba whose policies have contributed significantly during the formalization of this document.

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